Print Rich Environment Labels For Your Home – Promoting Early Literacy Skills and Development

As a former teacher turned stay-at-home-mom, I know that creating a print rich environment is vital for early literacy skill development. One of the ways that I want to help my two young children to become acquainted with text is by labeling items in our home. If you have ever been in a pre-k or kindergarten classroom, you may have seen this strategy utilized before. When children see printed words within meaningful context, it helps them connect and engage with print more readily.

The wonderful thing about this strategy is that anyone can do it! At the bottom of this post, I have created a link to labels that you can print and use to label the environment in your home. So, skip to the bottom if you are ready to print!

What if I don’t have access to a printer?

If you don’t have access to a printer, that’s ok! You can easily use whatever writing utensil and paper you have around your house. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The labels simply need to be legible and clearly displayed. You can even include your child in writing or tracing the words onto the cards/paper.

Details For Print Rich Environment Labels

  • These printable labels include the text only with no extra design, in order to minimize distractions while your child is learning to recognize new words.  I’ve also included blank labels of different sizes, so you can create your own!
  • Make sure to place labels in a location that is clearly visible to your child.
  • If you have access to a laminator, you can certainly laminate these labels to make them last longer. Additionally, you can use hook and loop tape or stickers to adhere the labels to the objects they represent.
  • The more involved your child is in the learning process, the more likely he/she will be to engage! See if your child wants to help you cut out the labels or tape them onto the objects around the room.
  • While these labels are great by themselves, you can also play games with them!
    1. Matching game: Print an extra set of labels and cut them out. Give the extra labels to your child and have them match them to the labels and/or items around the room.
    2. Memory game: Print 2 sets of the labels and cut them out. Choose a few words and their matching label and spread them out on a flat surface face down. Have your child flip 2 cards over at a time. If they match, he/she gets to keep the cards. If not, flip the cards over and try again until all cards have been matched.
    3. Tracing: Model tracing the letters with your finger, and see if your child wants to join in. You can even create some sensory fun! Place a laminated label in a plastic bin or bucket. (If you don’t have access to a laminator, you can tape plastic wrap or a plastic bag over the word.) Cover the word with dry items (rice, beans, sand, etc.) or wet ingredients (shaving cream, yogurt, etc.) and let your little ones trace the letters with their fingers.
    4. Word puzzles: Cut labels in to pieces that your child can put together. (For additional support, you can place an uncut version of the label on the table as a model of the word.) Although not necessary, it is helpful to laminate your pieces to make them last longer.

Additional Notes About Early Literacy Exposure

Exposure is so important for early literacy learners! Text is all around us, but as adults we usually don’t even think about it. Here are some other easy ways to help children engage with text everyday.

  • Food preparation: When baking or cooking with your child, look at food labels, measuring cups, and recipes together.
  • Public signs: When out and about, look at street signs together, and talk about what they mean. (This is also a great opportunity to talk about colors and shapes, too!)
  • Ordering food: when eating out, look at the menu text with your child. (Some restaurants have paper menus with pictures for kids to color – even better!)
  • And, of course, my most obvious tip is to make books available throughout the home for your child. I like to pick up wicker baskets at thrift stores and scatter them throughout our home filled with books my girls enjoy. The local library is always a great source for new reading material, and thrift stores are a great place to find children’s books for cheap too!

Details for Downloading

Simply click on the file below to download and save to your device.  Print as many as you like!

This printable is free for non-commercial use.  So feel free to use it at home, in your classroom, and more!

You may not use or reproduce this printable for profitable purposes. (See terms and conditions.)

Free Print Rich Environment Labels 

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